The friend zone isn’t a thing. Please stop.

Today in things that Raiah has absolutely zero patience for we have: the friend zone.

I have absolutely no patience or understanding for any guy who uses this term to describe their situation in relation to a girl. I would say that this goes the same for vice versa, but I don’t think I have ever heard a girl use the term in a serious way.

Why do I hate this term so much? It is essentially a way of stating that they have blatantly ignored a woman’s statement of her intentions and feel that they are owed something beyond friendship, usually because they believe themselves to be a “nice guy.”

Here is how it usually goes. A guy likes a girl. He expresses either directly or indirectly to her that he is romantically interested in her. She tells him that she is not romantically interested in him. Sometimes she says “I think we should just be friends” because she honestly wants to be friends with him. Sometimes she feels like that is an easier way to let down a guy she is just not interested in.

Either way, the guy starts referring to the situation as being “friend zoned.”

Here is why it is a blatant dismissal of her feelings. If he really did hear and understand her clearly stated intentions (I am not interested in being in a relationship with you), he would not refer to it as “the friend zone.” He would say, “we are friends.” The fact that he calls it “the friend zone” gives the impression that he is not content with the situation and will continue to try to change it. There is a lot of talk about making it out of the friend zone. Men are applauded by other men for breaking down the friend zone and finally dating the girl. That is not cool. Guess what, a relationship is not a reward for friendship. The goal of friendship is not to end up romantically involved. And if a girl tells you that she is not interested in dating you, THEN SHE IS NOT INTERESTED IN DATING YOU. That is not an invitation to try harder. Or to be her friend long enough to earn her love. If you truly respected her, you would listen to what she is saying and back the eff off. If she says, ” I just want to be friends” and you continue to be friends with her but have an ulterior motive of winning her over, you are lying to her and ignoring her feelings, her personal boundaries, and her clearly stated motives and intentions. This is not fair to her and is both manipulative and unkind.

There is this idea that if you are a “nice guy” you are somehow deserving of a relationship with the girl of your choice. That even if she is not attracted to you, she should be willing to give you a chance because you are nice. Which is a ridiculous. There is this stereotypical “nice guy” character that we see in movies and tv who pines after a girl who is clearly not interested in him. After months (or years) he finally wears her down and she goes out with him and they usually fall in love and live happily ever after. And because of this made up but heavily used narrative, there is now this expectation that if you are “nice” you deserve to get the girl.

Guess what. That is not how it works. Girls are always told that they need to adjust their expectations because romantic comedies aren’t real. “You aren’t going to fall in love at first sight or have a man show up on your doorstep in the rain or fall in love with the guy you hate at work.” Those are unrealistic movie plots created to manipulate your emotions. I need to tell you men that this is the same thing. She will not fall in love with you slowly because you are nice and ignore her deflections and pine after her for years. Yes, I’m sure it happens the odd time. Just like people probably do chase each other through the airport or meet their future spouse at the top of the Empire State Building. But those are the outliers. Those are the flukes. The majority of the time, if she says she is not interested, that is not going to change. It doesn’t matter how nice you are. She owes you nothing. You need to accept that and either actually just be her friend or let her go entirely.

Because what is the friend zone really? It is a way to deflect the rejection of unrequited love. Unrequited love is when your feelings toward someone are not returned. It is not their fault, they simply don’t have the same feelings for you as you for them. You can’t force someone to feel a certain way. You must now deal with that fact and move on. But the friend zone becomes this way of blaming someone for not returning your romantic feelings. Instead of it simply being “I like you but you don’t like me back and that makes me sad” it becomes “I like you but you put me in the friend zone and that is unfair.” Instead of accepting that you can’t control other people’s feelings it becomes a way to blame them for not feeling the way you want them to.

And I get it. Rejection is hard. It hurts. But if you really are the nice guy you claim to be, you will understand that respecting a woman’s choice and her feelings is more important than your own wounded ego.

So, basically, when you use the term “friend zone” what you are actually doing is blatantly advertising that you do not care about or respect women’s boundaries or feelings and are trying to blame them for the fact that they do not reciprocate your feelings. Therefore, if you use the term “friend zone” I will probably just assume you are an asshole and treat you as such.

Also, is there someone we can talk to in the television industry about these ridiculous male characters. Should we start a petition? No more Ted Mosbys or Ross Gellars please. More Jake Peraltas and Ben Wyatts. Thanks.

In conclusion, please read every single one on this list.

Also, I got the photo at top from this tumblr post

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